Discipline Coordinator

Mary P. Walker, Director of Graduate Research Programs (816) 235-2825, walkermp@umkc.edu

Oral and Craniofacial Sciences faculty who are members of the doctoral faculty.

Oral and Craniofacial Sciences is a discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program administered by the School of Graduate Studies.

Note: The discipline-specific requirements listed here are in addition to the requirements listed in Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application Procedure and Minimum Criteria for Admission and Minimum Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements.

Overview

In concert with the School of Graduate studies, the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences offers a doctoral program that must include the in-depth study of at least two disciplines. Students in the Oral and Craniofacial Sciences program can choose to participate in any of the department's three areas of research focus:

  • Biomaterials/Bioengineering of Biological Tissues and Replacements
    The overall goal of this program is to apply an integrated approach involving innovative computer modeling and organic synthesis, novel biocompatibility evaluation, comprehensive materials characterization, and mechanistic development of improved dental biomaterials. One component of this program is an engineering component that emphasizes micro- and nano-structure/property characterization of natural biomaterials such as bone, dentin, and enamel as a tissue engineering approach to the development of replacement materials.
  • Mineralized Tissue Biology
    This program is aimed at determining basic biological mechanisms and the cause and treatment of disease of bone and teeth during development and in the adult. Approaches include the use of basic in vitro methods combined with genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and transgenic technology.
  • Translational and Clinical Research
    Translational and clinical research involves results from clinical observations translating into basic research and incorporates basic research findings into clinical assessment and practice. The identification, characterization and synthesis of materials for clinical use requires the combined efforts and expertise of clinical scientists, biostatisticians, bioengineers, geneticists, life scientists, chemists, physicists, and computer scientists.

Program

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program is composed of a significant supervised research effort along with courses in areas such as dental biomaterials, research design, clinical research methodology, statistics, grantsmanship, biochemistry, proteomics, genomics, histology, and pathology. The primary didactic effort will be in oral and craniofacial sciences (biomaterials/bioengineering of biological tissues and replacements, mineralized tissue biology, or translational/clinical research) and the student will select a secondary area of concentration from other Interdisciplinary Ph.D. disciplines.

Duration

The length of the program is dependent on the academic background and abilities of the applicant and may vary from two to five years. The program culminates with an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Oral and Craniofacial sciences degree and the designated co-discipline or co-disciplines.

Objectives

The course requirements for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. are not predetermined, but rather are formulated by the student in consultation with the Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Director of Graduate Research Programs and the doctoral faculty who will serve on their supervisory committee.  The developed program of study will meet the student’s individual needs and research interests, satisfy discipline-specific requirements, and assure upon graduation that students are able to:

  • Demonstrate appropriate depth and breadth of knowledge in their disciplines
  • Use skills of interdisciplinary scholarship and research to integrate multiple perspectives
  • Work effectively in a collaborative environment
    Effectively communicate results of their research to diverse audiences
  • Use objective assessment for personal and professional improvement and development
  • Apply ethical principles to all aspects of their professional life
  • Think critically and creatively as a self-directed interdisciplinary researcher
  • Develop skills to become good mentors and communicators
  • Successfully complete the CITI Research Ethics Tutorial at: https://www.citiprogram.org/default.asp.  Upon completion they will print the Certificate of Successful Completion, and turn it in to the Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Administrative Office to be placed in their file

Eligibility

An applicant must meet the minimum general requirements for admission to Interdisciplinary Ph.D. study at UMKC and must satisfy grade point average requirements as stated in the admission requirements section of the Academic Regulations and Information of Doctor of Philosophy Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (http://sgs.umkc.edu/iphd/index.asp). To advance to candidate status, the student must successfully complete written and oral comprehensive examinations relevant to their primary and co-discipline(s).

Discipline-Specific Admission Requirements

In addition to the general minimum requirements for admission to interdisciplinary Ph.D. study, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree or (2) a D.D.S. or equivalent degree. In general, an applicant will be expected to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate work, including dental school (if applicable).

Applicants must also meet the minimum GRE requirements.

GRE Old Score Scale New Score Scale
Quantitative 533 145
Verbal 533 155
Analytical Writing 4.0 4.0

All application materials should be submitted prior to March 1 for students wishing to begin their study in the fall semester; however, applications will be accepted throughout the year. Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Transcripts. Analysis of transcripts from all prior institutions is required.
  • Letters of recommendation. Three letters of recommendation are required from current or former teachers who are familiar with the applicant's past achievements and research ability.
  • Personal statement from applicant. The applicant must submit a letter describing why he or she is interested in pursuing an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. study in oral and craniofacial sciences, how the experience of the program may be used by the candidate in the future, and a list of potential research interests.
  • Interviews. Interviews are not required; however, interviews are preferred and will be arranged upon the candidate's request. Successful interviews may enhance the candidate's chance of acceptance.

Suggested Compatible Co-disciplines

Biomedical and Health Informatics, Cell biology and biophysics, entrepreneurship and innovation,  molecular biology and biochemistry, pharmacology, chemistry, physics, engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, telecommunication and computer networking, curriculum and instruction, public affairs and administration (public health emphasis), and mathematics.

Core Program Requirements

The required minimum core curriculum for students with oral and craniofacial sciences as a discipline will consist of a minimum of nine credit hours in oral and craniofacial sciences. See minimum course requirements below. The student's supervisory committee may require additional courses for an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program which includes the department of oral and craniofacial sciences as the primary discipline or as a co-discipline. Ph.D. students with oral and craniofacial sciences as their primary unit must either complete these courses at UMKC or must have completed equivalent coursework at approved institutions at the time of their admission to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. Students are referred to other sections of the current UMKC general catalog for listings of appropriate graduate-level courses. The curriculum requirements also include a minimum of 3 credit hours of ethics training.

In accordance with the general requirements for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, a Ph.D. student must prepare a plan of study in conjunction with his or her dissertation supervisor and supervisory committee during the first year of Ph.D. studies. A student's plan of study must include coursework in oral and craniofacial sciences as well as in at least one other discipline.

Minimum Coursework Requirements

Coursework must satisfy all discipline-specific requirements and may include additional courses as appropriate to the student's research focus. Course selection will be made in conjunction with the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Director of Graduate Research Programs and the committee chair.
General requirements are listed below:

  • The Plan must include coursework from all of the student's disciplines
  • No more than 60 percent of the total coursework taken at UMKC and included on the Ph.D. Plan of Study, exclusive of dissertation hours, may be from any one discipline
  • Coursework from disciplines other than the ones to which the student has been admitted may be included on the Plan of Study and counted in the total percentage
  • No more than 25 percent of the total coursework may be from disciplines not formally participating in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program
  • The Plan must include at least 30 didactic hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, exclusive of dissertation research hours, in courses taken at UMKC or in courses taken at another institution which are approved for transfer by the student's Supervisory Committee
  • The Plan must include a minimum of 9 credit hours, exclusive of dissertation research hours, in a co-discipline area to which the student has been admitted
  • The Plan must include at least 12 hours of dissertation credits
Required Core Curriculum
BIO-SCI 5751Elements of the Scientific Method1-2
BIO-SCI 5752Research Methods in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences1-5
RES-ME 5700Introduction To Research Methodology2-3
RES-ME 5704Introduction to Biostatistics2-3
RES-ME 5706Dissertation Writing1
Dissertation
No less than 12 credits of the following are required:12
Dissertation Research
Applicable Courses
Examples of additional courses applicable to the program:
Biomaterials Teaching
Growth and Development I
Growth and Development II
Genetics and Biochemistry of Cranial Facial Biology
Biomaterials for the Dental Specialist
Oral Pathology I
Biomaterials for the Restorative and General Dentist
Advanced Seminar in Dental Biomaterials
Research Instrumentation Used in Dental Biomaterials
Special Problems in Dental Biomaterials
Special Problems in Pharmacology
Physiology of Oral Mineralized Tissues
Directed Research In Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
Readings in Immunology
Immunopathology
Molecular Biology of Oral Microflora
Structural Characterization of Dental Biomaterials
Responsible Conduct of Research

Departmental Research Orientation

Enrollment in BIO-SCI 5751 required

  • Interdisciplinary Ph.D. students will select and rotate through a minimum of four laboratories in the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences conducting a short research project in each.  At the end of the semester, a report is required reviewing the research project and instrumentation in each laboratory.  Students are also required to attend the weekly Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Seminar Series and the monthly Professional Development Seminar Series.  Research presentations cover a variety of biological, engineering and psychological disciplines relevant to oral science education and the oral health care profession. Presentations will be by faculty, students, and invited guest lecturers.

Enrollment in BIO-SCI 5752 required

  • As the student identifies a research focus for the dissertation project, they will begin reviewing the literature and relevant instrumentation in conjunction with a selected research advisor.

Seminar Series

Thesis and Dissertation Defense Exams

  • Graduate students are expected to attend all thesis and dissertation defense exams

Other Discipline-Specific Special Requirements

Dissertation Research

In accordance with general Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program requirements, each student with oral and craniofacial sciences as the primary discipline must submit a dissertation proposal, prepared in consultation with the student's supervisory committee, which describes an interdisciplinary program of original research on a significant problem in oral and craniofacial sciences. The proposal will be reviewed by the student's Ph.D. supervisory committee. The student may be required to revise and resubmit the proposal to the supervisory committee. A copy of the accepted proposal will then be forwarded to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

The student must provide evidence that a substantial portion of the dissertation will be submitted for publication to refereed journals. Such proof may be in the form of a manuscript in preparation for submission or a submitted manuscript. The student must submit the complete dissertation, in electronic form, to his or her faculty advisor for review and preliminary approval at least eight weeks before the expected date of graduation.

Appeals

In the event of disputes or special requests concerning a student's Ph.D. program, written appeals or documentation must first be submitted to the student's supervisory committee. If a resolution of the problem cannot be affected at that level, the written appeals process must then progress through the following levels:

  1. Doctoral studies committee of the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences.
  2. Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Executive Committee.
  3. Dean, School of Graduate Studies.

Academic Retention

A 3.0 or better grade-point average is required of all work applicable to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. A Ph.D. student with oral and craniofacial sciences as a discipline is subject to termination from the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program if: (1) his or her grade-point average falls below 3.0; (2) more than four hours of C (2.0) grades are received; or (3) any grade of D or F is received.

A recommendation for termination from the program will be made by the student's supervisory committee to the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences and forwarded to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. executive committee and the dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Comprehensive Examination Guidelines

A comprehensive examination will be administered to all students enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program whose subject emphasis area is oral and craniofacial sciences. The examination includes both written and oral components. Content of the comprehensive examination will be tailored to the student's field of research interest and prepared with input from all members of the student's supervisory committee.

Oral and Craniofacial Sciences as a Co-discipline

  • The Plan of Study must include a minimum of 9 approved credit hours, exclusive of dissertation research hours, in the Oral and Craniofacial Sciences co-discipline area
  • At least one member of the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences doctoral faculty must serve on the dissertation committee
  • The Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Director of Graduate Research Programs will serve as the interim advisor to co-discipline Interdisciplinary Ph.D. students.

Students will select courses applicable to their program from the following list with guidance from the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Director of Graduate Research Programs.

BIO-SCI 5751Elements of the Scientific Method1-2
BIO-SCI 5752Research Methods in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences1-5
RES-ME 5700Introduction To Research Methodology2-3
RES-ME 5704Introduction to Biostatistics2-3
BIO-SCI 5710Genetics and Biochemistry of Cranial Facial Biology2
BIO-SCI 5739Biomaterials for the Dental Specialist1
BIO-SCI 5742Biomaterials for the Restorative and General Dentist2
BIO-SCI 5743Advanced Seminar in Dental Biomaterials1-2
BIO-SCI 5760Physiology of Oral Mineralized Tissues2
MEDB 5561Responsible Conduct of Research3